§ 1. Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £7,300, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1904, for Expenditure in respect of Royal Palaces."
§ MR. WHITLEY (Halifax) moved the reduction of the Vote by £100, on the ground that the amount asked for ought to be included in the Army and Navy Votes, and that a promise had been given on the previous occasion that no further money under this head should be placed on the Civil Service Estimates. He said he ought perhaps to have moved the Adjournment so that the Vote might be put in its proper place, but under the circumstances it was perhaps sufficient—in order to maintain the right of the House in this matter—to propose a small reduction.
§ LORD BALCARRES (Lancashire, Chorley)
thought the explanation he had to give would satisfy the hon. Member. Last year several Members complained of the manner in which this item was treated in the Estimates, Osborne House being used as a convalescent home for naval and military officers. It had accordingly been arranged that in the forthcoming Estimates Osborne House should appear still in Class I, but as a separate Vote. It was, however, necessary that the Supplementary Estimate of this year should be framed in correspondence with the original Estimate.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES (Lynn Regis)
did not think that the explanation of the noble Lord met the case, as it was still proposed to keep in the Civil Service Estimates a Vote which was essentially an Army and Navy Vote. That was not giving effect to the undertaking entered into last year. He should therefore give his support to the Amendment of the hon. Member opposite.
§ MR. MALCOLM (Suffolk, Stowmarket)
thought the hon. Member for King's Lynn was a little bit unreasonable. The explanation of the noble Lord was perfectly satisfactory, and had any other course been adopted the hon. Member would have been one of the first to complain had the Supplementary Vote been put under a distinct heading which had no correlative in the year's Estimates.
§ LORD BALCARRES
reminded the Committee that the expenditure of this Vote was controlled by the Office of Works under a statute passed by the House two or three years ago. It was therefore impossible to include it in the Army and Navy Estimates.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
Will my noble friend submit that point to the Public Accounts Committee and abide by its decision?
§ THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Mr. VICTOR CAVENDISH, Derbyshire, W.)
said he could 859 not answer that question off-hand. The matter of Osborne House was governed by statute.
§ MR. COHEN (Islington, E.)
, as a Member of the Public Accounts Committee, could not recollect ever having had a question of that kind to consider. Their duty was to see that money was applied to the purposes for which it was voted by the House of Commons.
§ SIR FREDERICK BANBURY (Camberwell, Peckham)
also did not think it came within the province of the Committee to decide under what head a Vote should appear.
§ SIR FREDERICK BANBURY
said he could not remember any instance of that having been done. Could the hon. Member cite one?
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
Then I can assure the hon. Member that before his time and mine the question as to what Estimate a Vote should appear under was referred to the Public Accounts Committee.
§ SIR FREDERICK BANBURY
said his hon. friend evidently could not cite a concrete case. He seemed rather to be making a mountain out of a molehill. Osborne House was given by the King to the nation. It was a Royal palace, and to all intents and purposes continued as such. What object would be gained by shifting the Vote from its present place to the Army and Navy Estimates? It would only tend to deprive it of its historic character—it would be removing a small landmark for the mere sake of altering the accounts. The real duty of the Public Accounts Committee was to see that the nation got value for the money which was expended, and nothing in the shape of efficiency could possibly be 860 gained by merely transferring the Vote from one Estimate to another.
§ SIR JOHN GORST (Cambridge University)
supported the view of the hon. Member for King's Lynn. Part of the functions of the Public Accounts Committee was to give recommendations to the House as to the way in which the Estimates should be brought forward.
§ * SIR ALBERT ROLLIT (Islington, S.)
said the argument that this was a Royal palace, which in fact it never was, overlooked the statute which fixed the status of Osborne House. It was obviously desirable that a Vote applicable to the Army and Navy should appear in its proper class, so that the total Vote for the Services might be known and correct, and although it was perhaps necessary that this Vote should appear, for this session only, where it now did, because it had its correlative in the original Estimate, he hoped the opinion of the Public Accounts Committee would be taken as to the position it should occupy in the future. But he rose in order to enter his protest against the great difference between the original and the revised Estimate. In this case the revised Estimate was practically double the original Estimate.
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND (Clare, E.)
said that as far as he could judge there was no necessity to discuss this matter further because the Government majority had arrived.
§ MR. J. F. HOPE (Sheffield, Brightside)
said he would try to show that the spirit of vigilant criticism was not wanting on his side of the House. It had been very pertinently pointed out that this item was double the original Estimate. He thought the Leader of the Opposition might have condescended to take notice of this great difference between the original and the revised Estimate. Surely they might have some explanation as to this very extraordinary discrepancy. They would like to know more about this scheme for turning Osborne House into a convalescent home. He remembered that on one occasion the hon. Member for Mid Lanark kept the House for a whole hour before the holidays discussing this 861 item, and it was surprising that a gentleman of his keen critical faculty should be absent. He should be glad to have some information as to the progress of the work there.
* THE CHAIEMAN
I think the hon. Member is going rather wide of the question, although he is entitled to ask why that sum is asked for and how it is to be expended.
§ MR. J. F. HOPE
said he wished to have some details given as to what steps had been taken to secure proper sanitary arrangements. He should like some medical Member of the House to give his opinion upon this point. This was very necessary in the case of Osborne House, because the Isle of Wight had an extremely relaxing climate. He had some doubts as to whether his noble friend could fully satisfy him on these points, but perhaps he would say as much as he knew, and he would perhaps answer them more fully when the arrangements had been more advanced. They could not scrutinise these items too much, for if they got into the habit of allowing £7,300 to pass without adequate attention they might get into the habit of passing £730,000 or £7,300,000 in the same way.
MR. PARKER SMITH (Lanarkshire, Partick)
said the Government ought to give them a sufficient explanation when these points arose. This item ought to be treated as an Army Vote. Osborne House had ceased to be a Royal Palace, for it was a gift by the Sovereign for the purposes of the Army, and it was entirely misleading to treat it as a Royal palace. It was a very unsatisfactory arrangement for the Treasury to put upon the Royal Palaces Vote an expense of this sort, which ought to be put in its proper place 862 on the Army Votes. He wanted to have some explanation as to why the amount had been doubled. That was not a satisfactory way of dealing with the House of Commons. When voting money they wanted to know what they were about. No one could say that the House of Commons would grudge money for a matter of this sort, but how could there be adequate accounting and a proper check on expenditure if they were going to have a Vote doubled in this way. Generous as the House of Commons was they did not like to be asked in the first instance to vote a sum of money for a particular purpose and afterwards to vote twice the original sum when the bill came in.
§ LORD BALCARRES
said the hon. Baronet the Member for South Islington had complained of this Vote being included in the Civil Service Estimates instead of being included in the Army Votes. It might be that, as presented now, the Vote was misleading, but it would be still more misleading if it were put under the Army Votes. It was impossible to allocate this Vote to any single Department which would cover the whole service. Not only did it deal with Army and Navy matters, but it must be remembered that the Vote dealt with certain charges in connection with Osborne House, which, according to His Gracious Majesty's desire, was now thrown open to the public irrespective of Army or Navy purposes. It dealt with the grounds of the estate to which the public would have access; and finally it dealt with certain Royal residences which clearly must come under the Office of Works, and which could not possibly be allocated to the War Office. The hon. Member had asked him as to the progress of the work, and also in regard to the expenditure. He thought he could explain that. Two years ago His Majesty handed over Osborne House with the object of its being devoted to the purpose of a convalescent home, and it was found necessary so to redistribute the rooms as to make them more suitable for receiving patients. That was done at considerable expense, which the House voted last year. After that a very strong committee was appointed to supervise the convalescent home. It included the chief medical 863 officers of the Army and Navy and a number of eminent civilian doctors. These distinguished men visited the building, and came to the conclusion that certain hygienic measures should be adopted in order to make the home of a first-class character. They were displeased with the quality of the water supply. They considered that the system of treating the sewage required certain changes, and finally, the most important recommendation they made was that the whole of the furniture in the patients' rooms should be of the type which was to be found in all the great London hospitals and convalescent homes. That involved a serious outlay. He could assure the hon Member for Partick that it was not owing to any negligence on the part of the Office of Works that this expenditure had to be incurred. No doubt the cost could have been anticipated and placed in a lump sum a year ago, but the distinguished scientific men forming the committee desired to see the house as structurally altered before making their final recommendations. Certain alterations had been carried out in order to make escape in case of fire more easy. The Office of Works had been solely actuated by a desire to see that the place should be a real convalescent home. The staff was about to be appointed, and the Office of Works hoped that in about six weeks from now the house would be ready to receive convalescents.
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND
said he rose to offer his sincere sympathy to the Secretary of the Treasury. He was sure it was the desire of all sections in the House that he should long continue to occupy the position he held. What did they find to-day? He had almost said that a malignant attack had been made upon the hon. Gentleman. He had been subjected to criticism of the most drastic description. Of course, the attack was somewhat mitigated in the minds of Members when they knew the peculiar circumstances under which the hon. Gentleman was attacked. When the Rules were altered so as to cause the House to meet at two, instead of three o'clock, it was felt that it would be difficult to get a good and constant attendance of Members so soon 864 after lunch. That had always been apparent, and he thought the result of their experience ought to make them go back to the old system. There was no need to go on with the discussion for the Government had now a good working majority. He had been in the House a long time, and he was a good judge of the course of events from the faces of the Whips. When he was in the Lobby he looked at all the Whips he could see. They were greatly agitated some time ago, but they were now in good humour. The hon. Gentleman could now allow the Vote to be taken, with the certainty that the result of the division would not materially affect the elections. He knew the times in which we lived were harassing, uncertain, and critical. One never knew what was going to occur, but it would be an objectionable thing if anything happened on the initiative of the hon. Gentleman opposite from Scotland, or if the blow should come from Peckham. That would be the irony of fate. Although he was opposed to the Government he sometimes pitied them. In order to give a helping hand to people who looked so dreadfully forlorn, he now announced that there was a Government majority and that there was no need for further anxiety.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
said that it would have been just as possible to have included this sum in the Naval Vote as the £40,000 for the naval cadets at Osborne. He had a definite pledge last year that it would not appear in the Royal Palaces Vote. On 21st April, 1903, he complained that this was a naval and military work and not a work on a Royal palace, and Mr. Powell Williams, whose loss they all deplored, said in reply—The Motion of his hon. friend placed him in a position of considerable difficulty as a member of the Public Accounts Committee.And then he went on to say—It seemed to him that unless it could be shown that the amount in question applied solely to that portion of Osborne House which was still a Royal palace it had no right to be on the Estimates before the Committee. It was obvious that a service for the Army and Navy should appear on the Army and Navy Estimates.Had that pledge been carried out? As he understood the position, that undertaking was not really being carried out.
§ MR. SWIFT MACNEILL (Donegal, S.)
said he was not going to waste the time of the Committee, but only in a word to show the absolute ineptitude of the Government and their Departments. Osborne House was not a Royal palace at all; it was private property. If it had been a Royal palace it could not have been disposed of as it had been.
§ COLONEL PILKINGTON (Lancashire, Newton)
said that it was rather indecent wasting the time of the Committee while waiting for a Government majority. It was difficult to see why the Secretary to the Treasury should not be able to throw any light on this question. This convalescent home was not likely to be occupied by naval officers, who were not likely to be injured in any war soon, so that it must be occupied by Army officers. He would like to have some more information as to how this sum was to be spent. They knew that some scientific men had gone down there and had made certain recommendations as to the electric light and all that sort of thing, but it would be far
§ better to get more light on the whole subject as to how this money was to be laid out. The quicker this beneficent institution was completed the better. What amount was to be spent on recreation grounds? He always understood that recreation grounds were for men of active life, and not for convalescents. He noticed that the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for War had come in; and perhaps the right hon. Gentleman could throw some light on this Vote? A great deal of money had been thrown away without proper consideration.
§ Sir JOSEPH LEESE (Lancashire, Accrington)
rose in his place and claimed to move that the Question be now put.
§ Question put accordingly.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 124; Noes, 161. (Division List No. 14.)867
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Esmonde, Sir Thomas||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift|
|Allen, Charles P.||Farquharson, Dr. Robert||MacVeagh, Jeremiah|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Fenwick, Charles||M'Hugh, Patrick A.|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith)||M'Kenna, Reginald|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Mansfield, Horace Rendall|
|Bell, Richard||Flynn, James Christopher||Mooney, John J.|
|Blake, Edward||Foster, Sir Mich. (Lond. Univ.)||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)|
|Poland, John||Freeman-Thomas, Captain F.||Murphy, John|
|Bowles, T. Gibson (King'sLynn)||Gilhooly, James||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Brand, Hon. Arthur G.||Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbt. John||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)|
|Brigg, John||Goddard, Daniel Ford||Norton, Capt. Cecil William|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Grant, Corrie||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Griffith, Ellis J.||O' Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Hammond, John||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.|
|Burke, E. Haviland||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)|
|Burns, John||Hayter, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur D.||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)|
|Caldwell, James||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.||O'Dowd, John|
|Cameron, Robert||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||O' Kelly, Jas. (Roscommon, N.)|
|Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Holland, Sir William Henry||O'Mara, James|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk.||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Johnson, John (Gateshead)||Palmer, Sir Chas. M. (Durham)|
|Crean, Eugene||Jones, D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Crombie, John William||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Joyce, Michael||Priestley, Arthur|
|Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan||Kilbride, Denis||Reddy, M.|
|Delany, William||Labouchere, Henry||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Devlin, Chas. Ramsay (Galway)||Leese, Sir Jos. F. (Accrington)||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.)||Leigh, Sir Joseph||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Leng, Sir John||Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Levy, Maurice||Roche, John|
|Doogan, P. C.||Lloyd-George, David||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Ellice, Capt E. C (SAndrw'sBghs||Logan, John William||Runciman, Walter|
|Ellis, John Edward (Notts.)||Lough, Thomas||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)|
|Emmott, Alfred||Lundon, W.||Shackleton, David James|
|Sheehan, Daniel Daniel||Thomas, Sir A.(Glamorgan, E.)||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Sheehy, David||Thomas, D. Alfred (Merthyr).||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)||Tomkinson, James||Young, Samuel|
|Soames, Arthur Wellesley oares, Ernest J.||Toulmin, George||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Spencer, Rt.Hn.C.R(Northants||Wallace, Robert||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Whitley and Mr. Layland-Barratt.|
|Sullivan, Donal||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Taylor, Theodore C. (Radclifie)||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)|
|Tennant, Harold John||Wason, Jn. Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Agg-Gardncr, James Tynte||Gardner, Ernest||Newdegate, Francis A. N.|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Garfit, William||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens|
|Allhusen, Augustus Henry Eden||Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin&Narin)||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Gore, Hn. S. F. Ormsby-(Linc)||Pease, Herbt. Pike (Darlington)|
|Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn. Hugh O.||Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon||Peel, Hn.Wm.Robert Wellesley|
|Arrol, Sir William||Goschen, Hon. George Joachim||Percy, Earl|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Greene, Sir E. W (B'rySEdm'nds||Pilkington, Colonel Richard|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Grenfell, William Henry||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Greville, Hon. Ronald||Plummer, Walter R.|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F.||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Baird, John George Alexander||Hamilton, Marq of (L'nd'nderry)||Rasch, Sir Frederic Carne|
|Balcarres, Lord||Hare, Thomas Leigh||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Baldwin, Alfred||Haslam, Sir Alfred S.||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. G. W. (Leeds)||Haslett, Sir James Horner||Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Stalybridge)|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Heath, A. Howard (Hanley)||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson|
|Bartley, Sir George C. T.||Heath, James (Staffords., N.W.)||Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin||Heaton, John Henniker||Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert|
|Bognold, Arthur||Hickman, Sir Alfred||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Hoare, Sir Samuel||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford|
|Bond, Edward||Hobhouse, Rt Hn. H. (Somers't E.)||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith||Hogg, Lindsay||Samuel, Sir H. S. (Limehouse)|
|Boulnois, Edmund||Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside)||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Brassey, Albert||Horner, Frederick William||Smith, H.C. (North'mb Tyneside)|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Hoult, Joseph||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.)|
|Campbell, Rt. Hn. J. A (Glasgow)||Houston, Robert Paterson||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham)||Spear, John Ward|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Hunt, Rowland||Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk)|
|Cavendish, V.C.W. (Derbyshire)||Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Lancs.)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A(Worc.)||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop)||Stock, James Henry|
|Chapman, Edward||Kerr, John||Stroyan, John|
|Charrington, Spencer||Knowles, Sir Lees||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Olive, Captain Percy A.||Laurie, Lieut.-General||Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)||Thorburn, Sir Walter|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Lawson, Jn. G. (Yorks., N. R.)||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Lee, A. H. (Hants., Fareham)||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Tuff, Charles|
|Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile||Loveson-Gower, Frederick N.S.||Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Llewellyn, Evan Henry||Valentia, Viscount|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham)||Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H.|
|Davenport, William Bromley||Long, Rt. Hn. W. (Bristol, S.)||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Denny, Colonel||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)||Welby, Lt.-Col.A.C.E. (Taunton)|
|Dewar, Sir T. R. (Tower Hamlets||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Welby, Sir Chas. G. E. (Notts.)|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||Macdona, John Cumming||Whiteley, H. (Ashton und. Lyne)|
|Dorington, Rt. Hon. Sir John E.||Maconochie, A. W.||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Donglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers||M'Calmont, Colonel James||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.)|
|Doxford, Sir William Theodore||M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire)||Wilson-Todd, Sir W.H. (Yorks.)|
|Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Malcolm, Ian||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E.R. (Bath)|
|Dyke, Rt. Hn.Sir William Hart||Manners, Lord Cecil||Wolff, Gustay Wilhelm|
|Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Maxwell, W.J.H. (Dumfriessh.||Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart|
|Fardell, Sir T. George||Middlemore, Jn. Throgmorton||Wylie, Alexander|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Mitchell, Edw. (Fermanagh, N.)||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy|
|Flower, Sir Ernest||Morgan, D. J. (Waltamstow)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir Alexander Acland-Hood and Mr. Ailwyn Fellowes.|
|Forster, Henry William||Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer|
|Fyler, John Arthur||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)|
Question, "That the Question be now put," put and agreed to.
* THE CHAIRMAN
The right hon. Gentleman the Financial Secretary to the Treasury has claimed that the original Question be now put.
§ MR. COURTENAY WARNER (Staffordshire, Lichfield)
said that the hon. Gentleman did not move the closure.
* THE CHAIRMAN
Yes; and it was unanimously accepted by the Committee. The hon. Member for Accrington moved the closure. I put the Question and the Committee accepted it; and then I put the Question under discussion at the time, which the Committee has just disposed of. The Secretary to the Treasury now claims that the original Question be put and that is the question to be decided by the Committee.
§ the House he wished to ask a question regarding it. After the closure had been put and carried they all knew that the original Question might be put; but it should be part and parcel of the same transaction, that was that the hon. Gentleman who moved the closure should also claim that the main Question be put. The Motion for the closure was moved by the hon. Member for Accrington, and the Secretary to the Treasury moved that the main Question be now put. That was not part and parcel of the same transaction, and he never recollected a case in which the closure having been moved by a Member of the Opposition, the main Question was claimed from the Treasury Bench. He protested against it.
* THE CHAIRMAN
It does not signify in the least who moves the closure. The question for the Committee to decide was whether the closure should be applied or not. It does not signify whether the Motion comes from an hon. Gentleman on my right hand or on my left. When the Committee has once decided to closure the Motion, the ordinary procedure follows.
§ Original Question put accordingly.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 170; Noes, 123. (Division List No. 15.)873
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Brymer, William Ernest||Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Campbell, Rt. Hn. J. A(Glasgow)||Fardell, Sir T. George|
|Allhusen, Augustus Henry Eden||Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Fitzroy, Hn. Edward Algernon|
|Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn. Hugh O.||Cavendish, V.C.W.(Derbyshire||Flower, Sir Ernest|
|Arrol, Sir William||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A(Worc)||Forster, Henry William|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Chapman, Edward||Fyler, John Arthur|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Charrington, Spencer||Gardner, Ernest|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Give, Captain Percy A.||Garfit, William|
|Baird, John George Alexander||Coates, Rdward Feethan||Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin&Nairn)|
|Balcarres, Lord||Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Gore, Hn. S. F. Ormsby- (Linc.)|
|Baldwin, Alfred||Coghill, Douglas Harry||Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. G. W. (Leeds)||Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Goschen, Hn. George Joachim|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole||Greene, Sir E. W.(B'ry St Edm'ds)|
|Bartley, Sir George C. T.||Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile||Grenfell, William Henry|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin||Dalkeith, Earl of||Greville, Hon. Ronald|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir Mich. Hicks||Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F.|
|Bignold, Arthur||Davenport, William Bromley||Hamilton, Marq of(L'nd'nderry)|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Denny, Colonel||Hare, Thomas Leigh|
|Bond, Edward||Dewar, Sir T. R. (Tower Hamlets)||Haslam, Sir Alfred S.|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith||Dickson, Charles Scott||Haslett, Sir James Horner|
|Boulnois, Edmund||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers||Heath, A. Howard (Hanley)|
|Bowles, T. Gibson (Lynn Regis)||Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Heath, James (Staffords., N.W.)|
|Brassey, Albert||Darning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Heaton, John Henniker|
|Brodriok, Rt. Hon. St. John||Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart||Hickman, Sir Alfred|
|Hoare, Sir Samuel||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Lancs)|
|Hobhouse, Rt Hn H (Somers't, E||Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow)||Stock, James Henry|
|Hogg, Lindsay||Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Hope, J. F (Sheffield, Brightside)||Murray, Rt. Hon. A. G. (Bute)||Stroyan, John|
|Horner, Frederick William||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Hoult, Joseph||Newdegate, Francis A. N.||Taylor, Austin-(East Toxteth)|
|Houston, Robert Paterson||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens||Thorburn, Sir Walter|
|Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham)||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Hunt, Rowland||Pease, Herbt. Pike (Darlington)||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)||Peel, Hn. Wm. Robert Wellesley||Tuff, Charles|
|Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop)||Percy, Earl||Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward|
|Kerr, John||Pilkington, Colonel Richard||Valentia, Viscount|
|Kimber, Henry||Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)|
|Knowles, Sir Lees||Plummer, Walter R.||Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H.|
|Lauric, Lieut.-General||Pretyman, Ernest George||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)||Rasch, Sir Frederic Carne||Welby, Lt.-Col.A.C.E. (Taunton)|
|Lawson, Jn. G. (Yorks., N.R.)||Reid, James (Greenock)||Welby, Sir Chas. G. E. (Notts)|
|Lee, A. H. (Hants., Fareham)||Remnant, James Farquharson||Whiteley, H.(Ashton und Lyne)|
|Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Ridley, Hn. M. W.(Stalybridge)||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Leveson-Gower, Frederick N.S.||Ridley, Forde (Bethnal Green)||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Llewellyn, Evan Henry||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)|
|Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham)||Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye||Wilson-Todd, Sir W.H.(Yorks.)|
|Long, Rt. Hon. W. (Bristol, S.)||Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert||Wodehouse, Rt.Hn. E.R.(Bath)|
|Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford||Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart|
|Macdona, John Gumming||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander||Wylie, Alexander|
|Maconochie, A. W.||Samuel, Sir H. S. (Limehouse)||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|M'Calmont, Colonel James||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire)||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Malcolm, Ian||Smith, H.C (North'mb Tyneside)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir Alexander Acland-Hood and Mr. Ailwyn Fellowes.|
|Manners, Lord Cecil||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.|
|Maxwell, W.J.H.(Dumfriessh.)||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Middlemore, Jn. Throgmorton||Spear, John Ward|
|Mitchell, Edw. (Fermanagh, N.)||Stanley. Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Farquharson, Dr. Robert||Mansfield, Horace Rendall|
|Allen, Charles P.||Fenwick, Charles||Mooney, John J.|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith)||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Murphy, John|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Flynn, James Christopher||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Bell, Richard||Gilhooly, James||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)|
|Blake, Edward||Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herb. John||Norton, Capt. Cecil William|
|Boland, John||Goddard, Daniel Ford||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)|
|Brand, Hon. Arthur G.||Grant, Corrie||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Brigg, John||Griffith, Ellis J.||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Harwood, George||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.)|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Hayter, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur D.||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)|
|Burke, E. Haviland||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.||O'Dowd, John|
|Burns, John||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||O'Kelly, Jas. (Roscommon, N.)|
|Caldwell, James||Holland, Sir William Henry||O'Mara, James|
|Cameron, Robert||Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk.||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Johnson, John (Gateshead)||Palmer, Sir Chas. M. (Durham)|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Jones, D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Crean, Eugene||Joyce, Michael||Priestley, Arthur|
|Crombie, John William||Kilbride, Denis||Reddy, M.|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Labouchere, Henry||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan)||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Delany, William||Leese, Sir Jos. F. (Accrington)||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Devlin, Chas. Ramsay (Galway)||Leigh, Sir Joseph||Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)|
|Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.)||Leng, Sir John||Roche, John|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Levy, Maurice||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Lloyd-George, David||Runciman, Walter|
|Doogan, P. C.||Logan, John William||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)|
|Ellice, Capt E.C. (S. Andrw'sBghs)||Lundon, W.||Shackleton, David James|
|Ellis, John Edward (Notts.)||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Emmott, Alfred||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Sheehy, David|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas||M' Hugh, Patrick A.||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)|
|Evans, Sir F. H. (Maidstone)||M'Kenna, Reginald||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Soares, Ernest J.||Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.)||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Spencer, Rt. Hn. C. R. (Northants||Tomkinson, James||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Sullivan, Donal||Toulmin, George||Young, Samuel|
|Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)||Wallace, Robert'||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Tennant, Harold John||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Thomas, Sir A.(Glamorgan, E.)||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Whitley and Mr. Trevelyan.|
|Thomas, D. Alfred (Merthyr)||Wason, Jn. Cathcart (Orkney)|
Original Question put, and agreed to.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £18,800, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1904, for the Royal Parks and Pleasure Gardens."
§ DR. FARQUHARSON (Aberdeenshire, W.)
said he did not now intend to move a reduction, he merely wished to inquire whether these improvements had been sanctioned by the former Estimate, or whether the Government had exceeded the original Estimate and had now come to the House to ask them to sanction this extra amount. He also wished to ask for some information as to what these improvements were; whether they were going to be improvements or not, or what was going to be done to facilitate the traffic and the convenience of those who lived in London. He would also like to see a plan of the improvements which were to be made.
§ MR. JOHN BURNS (Battersea)
said he thought it would have been better if the Department under whose care St. James's Park came had submitted to the House last session the old plans of the park, so that hon. Members could have carried in their minds the suggested alterations and alleged improvements which had been carried out there. Had those plans been submitted, suggestions might have been made which would have led to considerable improvements in the plan as now revealed by the work as finished. He suggested, if it were possible, that we should depart from the German and French method of Haussmannising our parks in this country, the only result was to make London a second-rate Berlin, a fourth-rate Paris, or a fifth-rate Vienna. He preferred the old Mall as it was, and he certainly regretted that the improvement necessitated, if it did necessitate it, which he doubted, 874 the getting rid of so many old trees. Dealing with the improvement as it was, he said immediately in front of the Palace there was scope for making improvement, and he trusted that some attempt would be made to raise the lawns so as to hide the stone palisade, which, in his opinion, was rather too high. There was a still more important point, assuming that the new street from the Palace to Spring Gardens was carried out, and the Mall was carried straight from the Palace to Charing Cross, care should be taken that private enterprise and vested interests did not vulgarise what public money was trying to improve. Battersea had a particular claim on the Government in this matter, as £15,000 was to be diverted from the Battersea Park Fund in connection with the improvement of the eastern side of the Mall. Battersea was nothing if not generous and magnanimous, but they did like to be aesthetic and artistic. They did not object to being despoiled of this money provided it was spent in accordance with the true canons of art as understood in Battersea, but he doubted whether that condition would be fulfilled in this case. When the road was completed and the Nelson Column or the King Charles statue was made the visual objective, looking from Bucking ham Palace, it would doubtless be a desirable improvement for vehicular traffic, but one would then be confronted by the circular sweep at the northern part of Northumberland Avenue. The Grand Hotel was not a particularly handsome building, but it had not been vulgarised by sky-signs or advertisements of meat extract or pills, as was the case with the building on the western side of Northumberland Avenue. The only result of the expenditure of Battersea's £15,000 would be to see on the top of a high building in vulgar letters a bold blinking beacon advertising Bovril. Battersea protested against spending £15,000 to give this extract bold advertisement, and he suggested there was a way in which the noble Lord could deal with the advertiser. 875 This extract of meat claimed Royal Letters patent; the company had a royal crown on top of Bovril, on each side of it the royal monogram E.R., and underneath a vulgar illuminated sign. It seemed to him that advertisers holding the Royal Letters patent ought to withdraw such a sign in deference to the King, or out of regard for the amenities of the district. It they would not do so, he suggested that the noble Lord should advise the King to withdraw the Royal Letters patent from all their other advertisements until this sign was withdrawn. That is what he would do if he were King. If the noble Lord hesitated to adopt so drastic a measure, he might remember that in the House of Lords there were certain directors of this company, and he might appeal to them to withdraw the objectionable sign. If that were not successful, then other steps should be taken to prevent a public improvement being so vulgarised. Amongst other works which had been carried out he had noticed what appeared to be the beginning of a vehicular road across the small suspension bridge. He hoped there was no intention of making such a road; it was not required, and it would spoil one of the very finest views that he knew. He trusted that the noble Lord would display the artistic traditions of his house, and make the parks and open spaces even more beautiful than they now were.
§ MR. COURTENAY WARNER
, who thought the alterations would be a real improvement, understood that the plans were all prepared long ago. If that was so, why was this additional Vote brought in now instead of having been included in the original Estimates for the year? Long before the Estimates were introduced it was known that this improvement was to be undertaken, and the matters mentioned in this item were such that anybody would have known were certain to be included in such an undertaking.
§ MR. COGHILL (Stoke-upon-Trent)
entirely sympathised with the remarks of the hon. Member for Battersea. The Board of Works had acted in a most autocratic manner. Without having given notice to anyone they had proceeded 876 to cut down trees, and they now asked the Committee to sanction the expenditure which had been incurred. The Estimate had been grossly exceeded. St. James's Park was one of the things in London of which they had every reason to be proud, and when he remembered the artistic demerits of Buckingham Palace he was not so sure that our ancestors were not wise to exclude it from view as much as possible. He suggested that if the arrangements with regard to St. James's Park were to be altered, the paths crossing the park should be kept open until eight o'clock in the evening all the year round. This would be a great convenience to Members on leaving the House at half-past seven,
§ MR. EUGENE WASON (Clackmannan and Kinross)
asked whether in this sum of £18,800 was included the amount necessary for carrying through the Mall and pulling down the houses in Spring Gardens; when that work was likely to be undertaken, what class of trees were to be planted in the Mall—whether lime or elm—and when the new thoroughfare was likely to be carried through to Trafalgar Square.
§ MR. O'MARA (Kilkenny, S.)
said that, while he sympathised with the remarks of the hon. Member for Battersea, he sympathised still more with the people of Ireland who, although they had not been consulted in the matter at all, and would never receive any benefit from the improvement, yet had to contribute very substantially towards the cost. He understood that the improvement had been brought about by the erection of a memorial to Queen Victoria, and that the country had subscribed £250,000 for the purpose. He had nothing to say about that, but to ask Ireland to subscribe this amount at a time when the Estimates were growing yearly was very unjust, more especially when they had no assurance that this Estimate was going to be the last one on this particular improvement. He protested against the spending of this money, and he moved a reduction of the Vote by £5,000.
§ Motion made, and Question, "That a sum, not exceeding £13,800, be granted for the said Service."—(Mr. O'Mara.)877
§ MR. MALCOLM
thought this was a proper occasion on behalf of a great many Members of the House and a large section of the public to congratulate the Board of Works upon the undoubted improvement now being effected in the Mall. One great advantage of it was that Buckingham Palace was in the middle of a beautiful view and made an attractive end to the new boulevard. With regard to the trees he had not shed a single tear over those cut down in the Mall, and he thought the trees that had just been planted would redound to the beauty of the Mall in time. The improvement made by the cutting down of the trees in Piccadilly was also a matter for congratulation, and he was glad that the Home Secretary had not departed from the original plan. He associated himself with the remarks of the hon. Member for Battersea with regard to sky signs, which he hoped the Board of Works would take under their special protection and insist upon being removed where possible. They were positively ugly and an eyesore wherever they were placed, and it was very necessary and advisable that either the Office of Works, His Majesty, or the House of Lords should take a high line and have those sky signs taken down. He congratulated the Office of Works upon the improvements which had been made, which were being admired by foreigners as well as by people in this country.
§ MR. HUMPHREYS-OWEN (Montgomeryshire)
wished the noble Lord to take into consideration the planting of another class of trees in St. James's Park. They had in the past devoted themselves too much to planting planes, and to have them all over London would be very monotonous. He did not ask for elms, because they did not grow well in London. He should like to see more limes planted, for they stood the London atmosphere quite as well as planes. He hoped the noble Lord would also consider the removal of the beautiful Burlington House colonnade into St. James's Park.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
very much regretted the cutting down of some 400 trees in the Mall to carry out these improvements. The whole charm of Kensington Park, Hyde Park, St. James's 878 Park, and Regent's Park was that they imparted to this grimy brick city an element of beauty and freshness as though they formed an emerald chain hung round smoky London. To him their beauty arose from the fact that there were so many green things growing, and this had been very much affected by the cutting down of those trees. He was not going to criticise the general architecture of the scheme, but he thought the suggestion that the beautiful Burlington House colonnade might be employed in the ornamental portion of the Mall was a good one. There was one other point. He noticed that in these new works on the Mall a forty-foot road had been begun, and it had been made in the direction of the Green Park to within about twenty feet of the rails, where it stopped short. Was it intended to continue that road across the Green Park? There was a refuge in the middle which suggested that it was intended to make a footpath alone. He did not think such a road would have been started unless the intention was to carry it across the Park, for it was at present a cul de sac leading to nowhere. Was there any intention to carry that road across the Green Park? If so it would spoil the Green Park and would add nothing to the traffic facilities. He hoped he would have a satisfactory assurance about this matter. The opening of the Mall would undoubtedly be of the greatest possible advantage to London, because it would afford a means of going from west to east and east to west which would be of great value, because it would relieve the traffic of Piccadilly, the Strand, and Fleet Street; and the Mall would form such a thoroughfare as no other city in the world possessed. He would like to know where the Mall road was going to come out. If it was to open out at Charing Cross it would largely add to the congestion of the traffic there, because already four or five roads met there. They had at Charing Cross a sort of wheel of which that centre was the hub, and the amount of traffic there at the present time caused great inconvenience. He suggested that instead of the road of the Mall coming out at Charing Cross it should be taken to the south of the new Admiralty buildings to Whitehall Place. That would give a side entrance to the Embankment, and would very much relieve Charing Cross. He was very anxious that this 879 new thorough fare should relieve the traffic and not add to the congestion which already existed at Charing Cross. He made this suggestion for what it was worth. He noticed that this Supplementary Estimate was twice as much as the original Estimate, and how it could be called supplementary he could not understand. This alteration had been accompanied by a regrettable destruction of the green of London, but he believed that when it was finished, especially if carried out in the way he suggested through Whitehall Place, it would be a great advantage to the metropolis.
§ MR. JOHN BURNS
said he was sorry he could not agree with the suggestion of the hon. Member for King's Lynn that the new avenue should be diverted to the south of the Admiralty. The adoption of that suggestion would involve a diversion of many yards, and it would bring out the road near the old Admiralty pay office, and the congestion the hon. Member wished to avoid at Charing Cross would take place there. He believed the eastern end of the Mall would come out at the best place. The confusion and congestion of traffic which the hon. Member anticipated would not be to the extent he imagined. He was sorry to say that the old colonnade of the old Burlington Arcade had during the fifty years it had been in Battersea Park lost its beautiful chiselling. For that reason the colonnade would not be suitable for the new avenue, though it would otherwise have lent itself to this particular improvement. He regretted the extravagance of the Office of Works in connection with this particular improvement.
§ * LORD BALCARRES
said he thought what had been said by the hon. Member for Battersea was a sufficient reply to his hon. friend the Member for King's Lynn in regard to the colonnade in Battersea Park. As to the footpaths in St. James's Park he could not give any undertaking now that they would be kept open to a later hour than at present. This question, however, scarcely arose on the Supplementary Estimate, and perhaps the hon. Member would raise it at another time when it could be considered. He thought it was quite out of the question to suggest at this stage of the proceedings that the 880 route should be altered and that another on the west side of the Admiralty should be substituted. The hon. Member for Lichfield had suggested that these plans had been prepared long ago, and that the Office of Works had withheld them.
§ MR. COURTENAY WARNER
said his complaint was that the plans having been prepared in time, the sum was not in the original Estimate.
§ * LORD BALCARRES
said that was not the case. The plans were not prepared as early as the Estimates for 1903–4, and on that account they did not appear in the original Estimates. The hon. Member opposite had suggested that the work had been unduly hurried on. In a sense the work had been hurried on, because the memorial of Her late Majesty had made so much progress that it was impossible to leave St. James's Park in the condition in which it was. They had to undertake the work at the earliest possible moment. It was most desirable that the work should be carried out by the memorial authorities, and the Office of Works concurrently. The Queen Victoria memorial fund was managed wholly independently of the Office of Works. A very large sum of money was received for the memorial, and those who had charge of it went into the matter carefully. It was suggested that part of the main scheme should be a great group of statuary at the east front of Buckingham Palace. That was a very large affair, and when the memorial authorities began their work, the arrangements required for the parterres, drainage, and lighting, rendered it necessary for the Office of Works to co-operate with them. Someone had suggested that they ought to have taken the House into their confidence in this matter. The last thing they should have thought of doing was to steal a march on the House of Commons, but he would point out that the plans of the memorial and their effect on the thoroughfare in St. James's Park were made public a long time ago, and they indicated the line which the avenue would inevitably have to take. As lately as last session these plans were again exhibited so as to make it quite clear that the general line would be down the centre of the Mall. But until measurements were taken and 881 estimates received, it was wholly impossible for the Office of Works to present an Estimate to Parliament. His hon. friend had asked whether it was proposed to make a thoroughfare northwards across the Green Park. There was no intention of the kind. The idea was that from the monument northwards groups of trees should be planted so as to make a great vista towards the north. He wished to remind the hon. Member for Battersea that the money arising from the park there was given to that neighbourhood by the Government, and not taken by the Government from Battersea. The money was to be provided for by a Bill now before the House. That had nothing to do with the Supplementary Estimate presented to-day. The Supplementary Estimate dealt with improvements in the Mall westward from the Steps. They proposed that the work from the Duke of York's Steps to Charing Cross should be dealt with by funds provided by Bill. The Office of Works had in Consols a sum of money which was the balance from the formation of Battersea Park fifty years ago. That Act stated that the money might be applied at the discretion of Parliament in or near the Metropolis. He could not discuss that matter now.
An hon. Member had referred to the class of trees which were to be planted. He should like very much that the hon. Member would confer with the officials of the Office of Works on that matter. The trees which had been planted in the Mall were exclusively plane trees, being considered most desirable from the fact that they had a deciduous bark. When they were trying to make a great and homogeneous avenue, it was probably wisest and best to plant only one variety of trees. He would point out that the trees already in The Mall really had no chance. Some of them had been ekeing out a precarious existence in three feet of solid gravel. The young trees recently planted had been planted at great expense and with exceptional care in the finest soil available, and there was every reason to hope, humanly speaking, that within twenty years these trees would have obtained greater size than many of the trees which had been there a hundred years. His hon. friend the Member for King's Lynn had protested against the destruction of the green of 882 London. He would like to inform the Committee that at this moment there were more trees and a larger grass area in St. James's Park than twelve months ago. He was glad the hon. Member for Battersea had referred to the advertising nuisances which everybody who travelled down the Mall must have noticed. One firm displaying the Royal monogram and an Imperial crown flashed its message down to the very windows of the Sovereign's palace. The Office of Works had no jurisdiction in the matter, but he could say that the fact of public attention having been drawn to this matter must unfailingly give a great stimulus to the movement now on foot to give public authorities the right to regulate the advertising nuisance. When the Mall improvement was completed it would be a great convenience to the whole of London. He lather deprecated the attack which had been made upon some of the trees. There were trees which were small and "consumptive," no doubt, but so at one time were many of the trees which now form the magnificent avenues such as those in Kensington Gardens; and when completed this avenue, besides being of immense service to the metropolis, would be a dignified approach to the memorial to Her late Majesty.
§ MR. COURTENAY WARNER
said he believed that this improvement would be a great success. The explanations of the noble Lord had been most lucid, and considering only the information which the Committtee had been able to obtain from him, the noble Lord had proved a great acquisition to the Treasury Bench. It might be quite true, as the noble Lord had said, that the measurements of the last plans of his Department were not ready in time for the Estimates of last year. But why were they not? The plans of the memorial and the road had been prepared years ago and exhibited in the Tea Room and also to the public, and, therefore, it would have been very simple for the Department to take out the measurements in time to prepare for the original Estimates, instead of withholding them for a Supplementary Estimate. It was the fault of the Department that they were so slow in preparing their measurements.
§ SIR GEORGE BARTLEY (Islington, N.)
said he was one of those who thought that this change was an enormous improvement, and would make a magnificent thoroughfare through the Park. It would make a very short cut between Charing Cross and Victoria, and there would be an enormous traffic between the two points which would rather damage it as an ornamental road. He did not believe that omnibuses and trams would ever be allowed there, but as a short cut there would be an enormous pressure of traffic. He thought the Department should consider whether a subway should not be put down beneath the road for tramways and heavy traffic. Such a subway in London would be a very large and important means of getting rid of heavy traffic; and no damage would be done to anybody or anything if, on this great road, the enormous traffic from Charing Cross to Victoria could be carried on by means of a subway. He fancied that it was rather revolutionary to talk of a subway under St. James's Park, but the matter might be considered by the Department.
§ MR. SOARES (Devonshire, Barnstaple)
said that he noticed that one of the items was for wood paving on the Mall. He did not see at all why that should be done out of public funds and not out of the rates. Why should his constituents pay for roads for the people of London? All that district was very wealthy indeed, and the people there were quite able to bear their own burden.
§ LORD BALCARRES
said he was glad to think that the expense of road-making and road- maintenance in these parks was not so heavy as some hon. Members imagined. From time immemorial the roads in these public parks had been paid for by Parliament and not out of local rates.
§ MR. SOARES
said that his constituents were paying for these London roads as well as for their own.
§ LORD BALCARRES
said that if the hon. Member's constituents were one of these days to go for a drive down the Mall they would be thoroughly well repaid for their contribution. As to a subway, he 884 confessed that the question had not occurred to him, and he did not know whether it had been considered by the Board of Works. He would, however, make further inquiry.
§ MR. WHITLEY
asked if this was a final Estimate for this improvement, or did the noble Lord anticipate any further call on Parliament for it?
§ LORD BALCARRES
said he did not like to claim finality for that Vote, but he thought it was, subject to the assent of Parliament being given to the Battersea Park Bill, when the surplus from the fund dealt with by that measure would be devoted to the eastern end of this extension.
§ Question put, and negatived.